Saturday, 11 November 2017

We reach the station building

Well, that headline says it all! It took a lot of effort to get there though.

First though, some earlier work.

Over the last two days the ballasting has reached the approximate site of the southern turnout. You can see Broadway station just beyond. We don't want to put any more Terram and ballast down until we know which bit is double and which bit is single track.




At the same time the fence and gate that used to close off access to Broadway station along the trackbed were taken out, and the trackbed here levelled as well. Now you can look right through, and see the ballast bed approaching from the northern direction.





The forecast today was for a steady drizzle, perhaps fading out later. It was waterproof clothing for most of us. The job in hand was to extend the P1 road to catch up with the enthusiastic sleeper laying on the P2 road last Saturday. The Landie brought down the kit, which is always heavy and you don't want to carry it very far.




First thing to do was to lay out the pile that was on the end in the above picture. Using the nips, it takes 4 people to lift and move one of the Jarrah sleepers with cast iron chairs on.

Behind, the Telehandler hovers with another load already.




With the Telehandler off to fetch even more sleepers from the Childswickham train, Steve saw his chance and nipped in with a pair of rails.
This picture shows just how narrow the gap is between the side of the JCB and the platform, and the centre drain on the right. In fact, it seemed tighter on the platform 1 road, than the other. That was odd...

With a pair of rails dropped on the right, the Telehandler came back with a load of 12 sleepers. It too was having a hard time getting through without damage to the slabs.

And there you go, it has nudged the centre drain, while the load is now even closer to the slabs. Which way to go?



Behind the camera part of the team - it was a large turnout today, despite the rain - was busy spacing out the sleepers brought in. We had to adopt another method today, involving three drops of the 12, at intervals, then spreading them out once on the ground. The plank on the left was cut to length to let the Telehandler know where to drop each set of 4.






And then, finally, our first rail goes in. Whoo - hoo !

Now we're using bullhead, the lifting in is more complicated because bullhead rail is very much less stiff than flat bottom rail, it handles like wet Maccaroni. It therefore needs more men on bars, very hard work.







We can then take a breather while Steve nudges it home, up against the previous one.

We're almost under the footbridge here with double track now.






Please, sir, our sleeper won't fit with the catchpit in the way
The further we went along into the platforms, the tighter the space became. Very odd. Whereas the P2 road fitted in with the space between catch pit and wall, the platform 1 road ended up much closer, and the sleepers wouldn't fit in. How is that possible?

The problem is: This deep hole here.
Nigel was summoned to inspect the lack of space. In the foreground the opposite sleeper fits perfectly, why won't the P1 sleeper fit in?







A hasty committee meeting was held.










Followed by an official measuring of the distances.

Yep, it's true, one space is much smaller than the other, and that over the length of two catch pits, right opposite the building.





Let's have lunch and talk about it over some cake. Fruitcake today (no jokes, please, about what a suitable cake this is for our gang, thank you) and it was jolly good too, with brandy in it left over from the Christmas cake confection. Just our luck !




After lunch, more careful measuring, this time using the track gauge.

Height and distance from the wall was fine, until you met a catch pit, and then the wall was too close.





We then laid in a second set of rails, an event always anticipated with great pleasure by the sleeper laying gang on the right, because you can chill out and lean back for a few moments. Too dangerous to go nearer, see? Sorry.

Steve brings in more rail and again a tight situation with that centre drain catch pit in front of the building.





While waiting for more sleepers from afar, Steve an Bert Ferrule take a cheeky chance and quickly lay in a rail on the P2 road, where 3 lengths of sleepers are not yet adorned.






Here come the sleepers again! Another laod of 12, now with extra headlights in the descending gloom.





As the lighting conditions get fainter and fainter, the gang advances past the building, thus enabling today's headline. We reach the station building, with double track!






Taking a step back, we can see from the signal box steps how sleepers are laid out in the foreground, and the second track is at the level of the toilets in the background.
The building is now completely clear of scaffolding, what a treat it looks too. Under the canopy the platform is being brought up to slab laying level with dumper loads of spent ballast, originally scraped off the trackbed here, so now it's back home.






Towards the end of the day the laying team on the P1 road were mid-building. Double track is now in front of the station, and a number of people remarked how much like a station it now felt, with the rails in place.





This is how far we got today, as the teams start to collect up the tools. With the extra 'cheeky' length put in on the up line, we are now this side of the buiding here, and half way along it on the down line. All in all we laid 120 sleepers today, and 6 pairs of rail. Next time, we might even be coming out of the platforms again.

The next PWay event will be on Wednesday, when the 'second front' will lay the remaining 100 concrete sleepers on the extension train. There may be a ballast drop too, this remains to be confirmed.

All the tools are now loaded, ready to go home again. A warm fire and a large beer is what we want now. Seen from this angle, the rails appear to have passed the building already. It all happened today, often watched by the Broadway station gang, who were also numerous on site. Altogether there must have been over 30 of us. We don't hang about, there is an opening day approaching!




Look at this nice platform achieved by the Broadway gang today, with our trackbed scrapings. All nicely rolled too, and soon it will be ready for the 3x2 slabs that belong here.

A last look south, this time from the platform end. You can see that the trackbed past the bridge is now completely clear, and not far beyond is the end of the ballast bed. Somewhere in between will be the southern turnout.

56 comments:

  1. I agree. How like a station it looks NOW! The track not only looks like it belongs there, it looks like has been there all the time! It fits in nicely! Well done to the P Way who made this happen. Regards, Paul.

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  2. Maybe next week the track laying will get beyond the 'cafe', oops, shop !!

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  3. So what was the verdict on that catch pit - is the platform out of alignment or is it something else? I'd be interested to know what the solution is as presumably if you can't fit the sleepers in the right place the train won't be able to get in without scraping that nice brickwork you've been working on...

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    1. May be the catch pit are not central between the platforms? Hopefully a bit cut off the end of the sleeper will sort it!

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    2. I seem to remember from the early days of the Broadway Blog that the platforms as they stand now are slightly off from the original position of the platforms; there may be some pictures from way back when of the original foundations of platform 2 being uncovered during digging for the new foundations, and they're slightly behind the new platform. That would shift both platforms to the West, but obviously the centre drain is original, and never moved!
      --
      Aha, found it! http://broadwaygwsr.blogspot.nl/2013/02/saturday-23rd-february-2013.html

      "Lastly a couple of interesting photos. The first shows the slightly different alignment of the new platform verses the old. The shallow trench is were the old platform foundation was."

      Complete with a picture of the new platform behind, slightly further to the west.

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    3. Also if you read the comments they contain the following:
      "Slightly wider between platforms to ensure regulatory 300 x 600 refuge under platform edge"
      is given by Bill Britton (much missed by me and I suspect many).

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    4. That would imply that Platform 1 is actually further East than the original, but it's obviously closer to the center line than Platform 2 is, which is to the West of the original position. Has the curve also been straightened, perhaps?

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    5. On this photo on the Broadway Blog from 11th November, it looks like the platform has a rather large misalignment in it, given that the site is on a gentle left hand curve. https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YRVMQEcdzXI/Wgc2Gq69yZI/AAAAAAAABeY/KVEv3lu6GhYP2QXme9R9FkZGq1NMXtIEQCLcBGAs/s1600/Infill%2B2.JPG

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  4. Well done guys!! Is there enough room in the 6ft between the rails, for stock to pass? Aaron

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    1. No, so they'll be using narrow gauge stock at that point!

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  5. great effort from the Orangemen they deserve a cuppa from the cafe when it opens....

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  6. Thanks for the update again, Jo. So were some of those sleepers cut to fit? I can also see that one of the "dagger" boards has been damaged on the southern bit of the canopy - hit by the Bobcat, I wonder?

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    1. Yes, hit by the Bobcat operator.
      We hope that he will offer to repair it.

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    2. It doesn't look like a simple job as the dagger board is presumably fixed behind the wooden beam on which the guttering is fixed. BTW is the guttering shallower than on the original station.

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    3. Yes, the guttering was purchased shallower than that at Toddington. It's of a smaller section all round.

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    4. Yes - it doesn't quite balance the mouldings which form the apex of the 'triangle' and does make a noticeable impression. Perhaps this is something which could be upgraded at a later date when finances allow or if the present guttering proves unable to cope with the heaviest downpours.

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  7. Brilliant work as usual in far from ideal conditions. Bullhead rail certainly has a mind of its own! I don't think it's a damaged dagger board. It's the temporary mounting position for the gallows if the decision goes the wrong way on Monday.

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  8. Jo,
    I wonder if Andy Protherough would let you offset the top three or four drainage rings, each by an inch or so, to move top ring towards the centreline 3 or 4"? A bit like corbelling.
    Maybe it's too late, and access is too difficult...

    Eric

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    1. This is to happen tomorrow!

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    2. NO! This is NOT an option at any cost. The rings are NOT designed with this mode of installation and will eventually crack leading to ballast ingress into the cess drain.
      One move in this direction and you can find another HoD for Lineside Drainage!

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    3. Rebuilding the platform by March - ouch! Why were original alignments not used? Sb

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    4. Looking back to the Steaming to Broadway blog noted above, the new platforms were set slightly wider apart to allow for the 300 x 600mm refuge area under the platform edge required by modern regulations. I wonder if this was achieved by moving platform 2 but not platform 1 position, bearing in mind that P1 was set out well before P2 (like 7 or 8 years ago!)? This would leave the drainage slightly off centre as appears to be the case.

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    5. See my quote from Bill Britton above

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    6. Andy, don't resign, you Photo Blog is so interesting, we look at it all the time, you don't have a blog like the other departments because you are always working in your department so hard! Trying to keep drainage under control must be a nightmare! But your work is so valuable to the line to keep it dry and also not a "green tunnel" we would love to hear from your department about some of the work you have done here, sometimes a picture leaves a multitude of questions! Go and sort them out, they have made a mistake not you! Keep up the standards and consider doing a blog please, even if its not once a week it would help to advertise your departs much needed presence on the line.
      Regards
      Paul & Marion.

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    7. He's got enough to do without another blog!

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    8. There is also a separate Lineside Clearance team which had a picture site at one time. But the provider stopped doing it and it co-incided with Chris Howl, who did it and was HoD Lineside then, retired from that position. Same Chris who part times with Andy P and is often seen firelighting!
      Roger

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  9. Having been on Network Rail renewals for many years. It is quite common for catchpits to get in the way.
    The usual solution is to provide timber sleepers, even in a Concrete or Steel sleeper relay, often on both lines in double track situations, any offending sleeper can then be cut to fit using a chainsaw.
    I have done this with BH, FB113A and UIC60 rails in platforms and tunnels and other locations.

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    1. No! Network Rail simply fill them with Ballast then moan about track quality issues!

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  10. In really tight situations the use of mini catchpits can give you added room to play with or even plastic tube but doubt that they would see favour here.

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  11. Please let Andy sort the problem correctly with the PW team before jumping in with a solution, we need to be united here and ensure the new "Lady" is dressed correctly right down to her smallest details!!!
    Regards
    Paul & Marion.

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    1. No-one's "jumping in" from what I have read here. There have just been a few comments from people who seem to have professional knowledge of such issues (I don't btw) which, from what they've said, can be solved.

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  12. This question is addressed to Andy. (I'm an avid follower of his photo 'blog'.) Do catch pit rings come in different sizes? If a size existed which would drop inside the current rings, they could be inserted right down to the drain level and would give some further sleeper clearance at the top. I have no idea whether this is 'pie in the sky' as I am one of those aged armchair supporters. The work carried out by you, Andy, and your colleagues is absolutely key to the long term survival of the infrastructure. Please don't run away!

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    1. I agree, and having followed his blog thanks to Andy and his team I'm sure that the drainage on this line is in better condition now than it's been for many, many years!

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    2. Hear hear!, I to like his work, even if there are only pictures. It would be nice if he had the time to do a blog. I refer the honourable gentlemen to my earlier remarks about his department and the work they do.

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    3. These catch pits have been built up from the original rings put in by BR at some point. The only original GWR pits are in Winchcombe, these are brick built coffin shaped jobs and vary in size. Broadway, Toddington and Cheltenham and along the track are mostly the standard size. The chamber formed by the rings is already a confined space to work in, it isn't feasible or safe to work in a chamber with offset rings. We in the drainage gang have spent quite a bit of effort getting rings back in line when they are discovered shifted (normally caused by machines working trackside). As 99% of the drainage work is manual (there’s no spare money for kit for us) being able to get into a chamber with a shovel, ladder and bucket to get the sediment out is important. Getting us back out if we have an accident is a major concern, if tools or a bucket of wet clay and ballast drops on your head in a chamber you may not be in a fit state to climb back out. When the emergency services arrive with lifting tackle to recover the casualty the last thing that’s needed is to dismantle the chamber so the body can be lifted out.

      Stuart, Lineside Drainage Gang

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    4. Stuart,
      Thank you for your explanation regarding the catch pits. Obviously it is important to get both the drainage and the track just right. Given that there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat, I am sure that a good engineering solution to the catch pit track issue can be achieved with both the Pway and Drainage teams working together.

      I note that there is a rail joint quite close to the catch pit and I am wondering if this will cause a problem with the enevitable ground hammering that will take place once this joint starts to loosen. Perhaps relocation of the joint or welding may help here.

      On the subject of modern machinery for the Linside and Drainage teams. Through the flicker sight I have watched you, Andy and the rest of the team toil day in and day out, in all weathers, to bring the lineside and Drainage up to the good standard it is today. All by hand. We should all be under no illusion that there is a lot more that needs to be done and most of this will be unseen in the bushes or underground. Once this is done then it will be back to routine maintenance for a few years until the railway gets the extension bug again.

      So, dear Santa, please can Lineside and Drainage have a road rail drainage vacuum truck with high capacity high pressure jetter and also a flail machine.

      P.S. Pway could do with a road rail digging, rail lifting multi machine like the big railway.

      How can we make this happen, fund raiser anyone?

      Regards, Paul K

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    5. I suspect the type of vehicle you're talking about is very expensive to buy, although some can be hired - see http://www.shovlin.co.uk/index_2_45.htm

      Network Rail have their own too - even more expensive! http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/technology/single-view/view/whale-way-to-keep-drains-clear.html

      A great idea though, all it needs to pay for one is a nice legacy from somebody!

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  13. I offer my 'six penneth' as a tone of common sense here. the only option is to cut the ends off the sleeper that is fouling the drainage pit ring. there, job done. Regards, Paul.

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  14. Dear Mr Johnson,



    On behalf of myself and the shareholders who contacted me, I would like to thank you for your decision to retain the Edwardian café at the terminus station at the village of Broadway.



    This decision reinforces the sole objective of the GWSR trust which is :-

    "To establish and maintain a railway museum for the benefit of the public"



    I note you require a business plan and the option to revert to a shop at this location in the future.



    I hope that my lobbying was seen as emotional, aggressive but not abusive.



    Mike Rose.

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    1. Mr Johnson I endorse the Board's decision as it appears fair minded. I shall call in for a coffee or tea and cake / sandwich as often as possible even if not travelling on the railway. Mr Baker

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  15. CAFE TO OPEN DATE UNKNOWN yesterday was a victory for commen sense the board have changed their mind today on Twitter I wrote cafe to open Easter I forgot to put if the volunteers can achieve it all the board have to do is PLAN In this order toilets,ticket office,cafe. yes it's called advance planning Easter 2018 hundreds of people are going to converge on Broadway FACT what do you do 1. some temp parking ( it's no good telling people to park at toddington) 2. if there's no cafe open (maybe set up a tent in corner of carpark for info point and poss drinks ect a kind of meet and greet) just some ideas the board have to get with the program. the soft opening lets just open and see what happens not good enough to the current volunteers you are all heroes getting this line to Broadway and the station inc the cafe. on a final note the few book shop crew at toddington you have a fully stocked shop plus books on sale in three sites on or by carpark at Broadway maybe a few books on sale in cafe should be sufficient in the cafe plenty of nostalgia some nice wall pics of the past and present and a pic of all the Orangemen past and present would be a nice touch as I said before its all about the EXPERIENCE . It's gonna be great Donald trump.

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    1. You just don't get it, the soft opening is *not* "open and see what happens", it is simply a case of doing as much as possible before opening but accepting it's not possible to have everything finished. Sorry to shatter your dreams but I am not expecting a car park or cafe for Easter 2018; the "current volunteers...heroes" just don't have time to do it all at once.

      It *will* get done, which I'm delighted to see, but now it's confirmed, there's no need to rush, it'll happen. Referring to Donald Trump doesn't exactly add to your argument either....

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    2. Hear hear! David needs to put a corke in it unless it is constructive comment. Sb

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    3. yes Alex lets just open and see the chaos m8 zzzzzzzz

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    4. So what do you suggest? The board is hardly *against* having parking etc. at Broadway, that would be ridiculous. These things take time and money, it simply was not possible to do it all by Easter 2018. So either you defer the date, or have a soft opening. Those were the only two options.

      If you personally would have preferred the former, then fair enough, I accept your opinion, but equally you should accept plenty of others' opinions that it would be better to open earlier without everything ready. Any other options jut weren't possible, it's not like the cafe where the wrong decision was made, its a question of timings.

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  16. David. There is one big item that you have missed out. That is Tarmac, - Platform 1 and Drive. Very necessary. not trying to put a dampener on your ideas, just thought you may have missed this one. regards, Paul.

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  17. to st blazey yes my friend your right I take it the drive ect will be done inc platform ect that's the bottom line anyway.

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  18. Ho I forgot Alex and mr anonymous they were the bookshop supporters poor losers both of them clear off back to toddington or I will set don trump on both of you .👊

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  19. You are completely wrong, I was very much in favour of the cafe and wrote about it extensively on the boardroom blog; go check it out, they're not hard to miss easily being the longest comments there! I just managed to do it in a more civilised, sensible and reasonable way keeping things in perspective.

    Frankly this is getting childish - what is "clear off back to Toddington" supposed to mean? Sounds a bit rude to all the volunteers at Toddington to me, there is the rest of the railway other than Broadway you know. I'd rather go back to Winchcombe, the paint shop is nice and warm in the winter for us C+W painters. And as for calling me a loser" and threatening to set Donald Trump on me - really? I'm half expecting you to reply telling me your Dad is bigger than mine too.... If you support Donald Trump it may explain a lot....

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    1. Just ignore the troll.

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    2. I've had my fun now! I'll not bother responding any more :)

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  20. well Alex Reece moggy clear off back to winchcombe with your tired comments Barack Obama. also I love the Orangemen .

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